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How The Media Reacted To Rush Limbaugh’s Death
PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 2: Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh makes remarks at the National Association of Broadcasters October 2, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Limbaugh resigned from his job as a broadcaster at ESPN after racial comments he made about Philadelphia Eagles Donovan McNabb caused an uproar.
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

On Wednesday, it was announced that conservative radio legend Rush Limbaugh had passed away after a year-long battle with Stage 4 lung cancer.

“We, the Limbaugh family, are deeply saddened to announced that our beloved Rush has died,” said Limbaugh’s wife on her husband’s Facebook page.

Media outlets moved to publish a range of obituaries. Some were respectful and objective, some were subjective and celebrated Limbaugh’s legacy, while others used the opportunity to criticize the late radio icon.

Here is a breakdown of how various media outlets reacted to the news.

The Daily Wire – Fighting Through Failure: In Memory Of Rush Limbaugh

“Rush Limbaugh tugged at the heartstrings of his listeners many times in the year since he revealed his cancer diagnosis, but his last show of 2020 proved especially poignant.”

New York Times – Rush Limbaugh Dies at 70; Turned Talk Radio Into a Right-Wing Attack Machine

“With a following of 15 million and a divisive style of mockery, grievance and denigrating language, he was a force in reshaping American conservatism.”

CNN – Rush Limbaugh, conservative media icon, dead at 70 following battle with cancer

“Rush Limbaugh, the conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk-radio to shape the politics of both the Republican Party and nation, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.”

The Washington Post – “Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio provocateur and cultural phenomenon, dies at 70”

“Rush Limbaugh, who deployed comic bombast and relentless bashing of liberals, feminists and environmentalists to become the nation’s most popular radio talk-show host and lead the Republican Party into a politics of anger and obstruction, died Feb. 17 at 70.”

The Guardian – Rush Limbaugh obituary

“Rush Limbaugh, who has died aged 70 after suffering from cancer, virtually created the style of political “shock jock” radio that made him so influential. His broadcasts, featuring attacks on opponents as purveyors of what we now call “fake news”, became the template for television’s Fox News, and at its peak played a huge part in Newt Gingrich’s “Republican Revolution” of 1994, which recaptured the House of Representatives from Bill Clinton’s Democrats.”

USA Today – Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio titan, dies of lung cancer at age 70

“Rush Limbaugh, the talk titan who made right-wing radio financially viable in American media and himself a Republican kingmaker years before Fox News, died Wednesday after he revealed in 2020 that his lung cancer was terminal. He was 70.”

LA Times – Column: Rush Limbaugh died as he lived — dividing America

“What is the appropriate response when someone who spent his life attempting to exploit and aggravate the political and social divisions of a nation dies? However the life of a professional divider is cast, any depiction or consideration will be greeted by howls of outrage from one side of that divide or the other.”

Fox News – Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio pioneer, dead at 70

“Rush Limbaugh, the monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party, died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced.”

NPR – Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh, A Conservative Lodestar, Dies At 70

“Conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, who entertained millions and propelled waves of Republican politicians, has died at age 70. He had announced to listeners last year that he had stage four lung cancer.”

HuffPost – Rush Limbaugh, Bigoted King Of Talk Radio, Dies At 70

“Rush Limbaugh, a talk radio pioneer who saturated America’s airwaves with cruel bigotries, lies and conspiracy theories for over three decades, amassing a loyal audience of millions and transforming the Republican Party in the process, has died, his wife revealed at the beginning of his show on Wednesday. He was 70 years old.”

Associated Press – Rush Limbaugh, voice of American conservatism, has died

“Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals and laid waste to political correctness with a gleeful malice that made him one of the most powerful voices in politics, influencing the rightward push of American conservatism and the rise of Donald Trump, died Wednesday. He was 70.”

New York Post – Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio host, dead at 70

“Conservative talk radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh died Wednesday after a year-long battle with cancer.

During his more than 30 years on air, Limbaugh ripped into liberals, foretold the rise of Donald Trump and flouted political correctness, making him one of the most powerful voices in politics.”

Business Insider – Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has died at age 70

“The right-wing talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh died on Wednesday, Fox News first reported. He was 70 years old. 

Limbaugh, who dominated airwaves for more than three decades with his hyper-partisan, liberal-bashing style on “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” announced in February 2020 that he had advanced lung cancer.”

Vox – Rush Limbaugh’s toxic legacy

“Obituaries for talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who died on Wednesday at the age of 70, have frequently described him as a “conservative provocateur.” This is technically accurate but euphemistic, akin to calling Bashar al-Assad a “controversial leader.” Limbaugh’s stock in trade was bigotry and offense; his career-long defining trait was a willingness to channel the conservative id in unusually blunt and crude terms.”

Esquire – The Strength That Rush Limbaugh Projected Was So Flimsy

“I listened to Rush Limbaugh for a total of ninety seconds in this century, and it taught me so much I couldn’t wait to turn it off.”

BBC News – Obituary: Rush Limbaugh, provocative US radio host

“Rush Limbaugh, the controversial US radio personality and political commentator, has died aged 70. His wife Kathryn Adams announced his death on his radio show on Wednesday. He had been suffering from lung cancer. Best known as the host of the long-running talk radio programme The Rush Limbaugh Show, he was a towering figure in the conservative movement for years.”

CBS News – Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio host, dies at 70

“Rush Limbaugh, the influential conservative radio host, has died from complications of lung cancer, his wife Kathryn announced on his radio show Wednesday. He was 70 years old.”

The Economist – Rush Limbaugh galvanised and embodied the modern American right

“The talk-radio host died on February 17th, aged 70.”

Deadline – Rush Limbaugh Dies: Influential Conservative Talk Show Pioneer Was 70

“Rush Limbaugh, the pioneering and polarizing conservative talk show host whose radio program drew millions of listeners and influenced Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, died today of lung cancer. He was 70.”

The Atlantic – Don’t Read This Piece About Rush Limbaugh If You Were a Fan

“As a radio broadcaster, Rush Limbaugh, who died yesterday, was a great success: He pioneered his genre, attracted millions of listeners for several decades, and grew fantastically wealthy. Many good people were used to his daily company, something unimaginable to critics who heard only the most odious excerpts from his broadcasts, never the more typical segments. If you’re a Limbaugh fan who feels like you’ve lost a friend, my condolences, and best to stop reading here.”

NBC News – Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh has died at age 70

“The Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree outraged critics with his long history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks.”

CNBC – Rush Limbaugh, the incendiary radio talk show host, dies at age 70

“Rush Limbaugh, the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Democracy” who led the conservative media revolution by bashing “feminazis,” “environmentalist wackos,” “commie libs” and prominent Black people — especially former President Barack Obama, died Wednesday. He was 70.”

People – Rush Limbaugh, Wildly Controversial and Wildly Popular Talk Radio Host, Dies

“Rush Limbaugh, whose popularity as a right-wing radio host was inextricable from his long history of provocation and insult and who for decades spoke daily to an audience of tens of millions of Americans, died Wednesday morning. He was 70.”

The Hollywood Reporter – Rush Limbaugh, Radio Talk Show Host and Conservative Firebrand, Dies at 70

“He swayed the right and outraged the left in more than four divisive decades on the air.”

Entertainment Weekly – Conservative radio firebrand Rush Limbaugh dies at 70

“Rush Limbaugh, one of the most listened-to radio hosts in America who gained infamy for his right-wing political commentary, has died at 70.”

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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